Meghalaya HC ‘Closed’ State’s Right to File Affidavit on Lokayukta

The Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2014 allows a non-judicial member to head it.

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File photo of Meghalaya High Court. (Photo courtesy: <a href="http://meghalayahighcourt.nic.in/">Meghalaya High Court Website</a>)

The Meghalaya High Court, on Monday, ‘closed’ the right of the state government to file affidavits on the provisions of Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2014 that allows a non-judicial member to head it.

The right was revoked after the chief secretary did not file a comprehensive affidavit on the matter.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh said in its order:

We have asked the Chief Secretary only to file a comprehensive affidavit which he has not done. Thus, we close the right of State to file affidavit.

The High Court had directed the state government to file an affidavit on the provisions of Section 3 of Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2014, which allows non-judicial members to be appointed as the Chairperson of the Lokayukta in the state.

The bench said that despite a detailed order passed by this court last year (on December 17), Chief Secretary PBO Warjri had not filed an affidavit.

Justice Singh also said that though the state has decided to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court, until there is an order of stay, the proceedings pending before this Court cannot be stalled merely on such statements.

The next hearing on the matter will be held on January 7.

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